Extricate is a 1990 album by post-punk band The Fall. It was made immediately after bandleader Mark E. Smith divorced Brix Smith. Brix's departure influenced more than just the subject matter of the album, it also helped define the sound of this album: her background vocals and post-punk guitar, which had become mainstays of The Fall, are noticeably absent in this release. In one of the more unusual events in the group's career, she was replaced by founding former member Martin Bramah, who had previously left the group in 1979 to form his own group Blue Orchids.

Lead-off single "Telephone Thing" could have been seen as a nod to the Manchester scene of the time as the sound is quite similar to the dance-influenced music that was being released by The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses in 1989. However, its origins were in Smith's previous collaboration with Coldcut on their track "I'm In Deep", which, in turn, led to Coldcut producing the track and "Black Monk Theme Part II". Elsewhere, Bramah, appearing on his first Fall album since Live at the Witch Trials adds a distinctly raw, even rockabilly sound to some of the songs. However, the album's best known track was one of the least typical of the group's catalogue; "Bill Is Dead", a slow-paced tender love song, topped John Peel's Festive Fifty that year, the only occasion in the DJ's lifetime when his favourite band would do so. Although originally conceived by Smith and Craig Scanlon as a parody of The Smiths, Smith changed lyrical tack when he decided Scanlon's music deserved better, delivering a highly personal lyric. However, at Smith's insistence, it was not released as a single (Simon Ford, Hip Priest, Quartet 2003 pp 200-201).

The critical reception to Extricate was largely positive, with Melody Maker suggesting that it was"possibly their finest yet" and NME giving the album a full 10/10 During the Australian leg of the tour accompanying the album, both Martin Bramah and Marcia Schofield were sacked from the group, leaving The Fall as a quartet for the first time in their career.

The album was re-released in an expanded and re-mastered edition by Universal in May 2007.

Track listing

Original vinyl tracklisting

Side 1

  1. "Sing! Harpy" (M. Beddington, Mark E. Smith) – 5:24 (note - M. Beddington is a pseudonym used by Martin Bramah)
  2. "I'm Frank" (Craig Scanlon, Smith) – 3:21
  3. "Bill Is Dead" (Scanlon, Smith) – 4:32
  4. "Black Monk Theme, Part I" (The Monks) – 4:35
  5. "Popcorn, Double Feature" (Scott English, Weiss) – 3:43

Side 2

  1. "Telephone Thing" (Matt Black, Jon More, Smith) – 4:12
  2. "Hilary" (Smith) – 2:30
  3. "Chicago, Now!" (Smith) – 5:59
  4. "The Littlest Rebel" (Steve Hanley, Scanlon, Smith, Wolstencroft) – 3:36
  5. "And Therein..." (Bramah, Smith) – 2:53

CD and cassette editions

  1. "Sing! Harpy"
  2. "I'm Frank"
  3. "Bill Is Dead"
  4. "Black Monk Theme, Part I"
  5. "Popcorn, Double Feature"
  6. "Arms Control Poseur" (Scanlon, Smith, Simon Wolstencroft) – 4:44
  7. "Black Monk Theme Part II" (Monks) – 2:01
  8. "Telephone Thing"
  9. "Hilary"
  10. "Chicago, Now!"
  11. "The Littlest Rebel"
  12. "British People in Hot Weather" (Hanley, Scanlon, Smith, Wolstencroft) – 3:07
  13. "And Therein..."
  14. "Extricate" (Hanley, Scanlon, Adrian Sherwood, Smith) – 3:46

Of the 4 bonus tracks, "Arms Control Poseur" and "Black Monk Theme Part II" were released as b-sides to "Popcorn Double Feature", the former in an alternate version. "British People In Hot Weather" was released as the b-side to "Telephone Thing".

2007 reissue

  • Disc 1
  • "Sing! Harpy"
  • "I'm Frank"
  • "Bill Is Dead"
  • "Black Monk Theme, Part I"
  • "Popcorn, Double Feature"
  • "Telephone Thing"
  • "Hilary"
  • "Chicago, Now!"
  • "The Littlest Rebel"
  • "And Therein..."
  • Disc 2
  • "Telephone Thing (Extended)" - 4:19 (from "Telephone Thing" 12" single)
  • "Telephone Dub" - 4:27 (from "Telephone Thing" 12" single)
  • "British People In Hot Weather"
  • "Butterflies 4 Brains" (Smith, Scanlon, Hanley, Wolstencroft) - 4:15 (from "Popcorn Double Feature" single)
  • "Arms Control Poseur" - 5:03 (from "Popcorn Double Feature" single)
  • "Arms Control Poseur" (CD album version)
  • "Zandra" (Smith, Beddington) - 2:47 (from limited edition "Popcorn Double Feature" single)
  • "Black Monk Theme Part II"
  • "Extricate"
  • "Theme From Error-Orrori" (compilation track originally credited to "M Smith, M Beddington, S Hanley and S Wolstencroft") - 4:11
  • "Chicago Now" - 5:34 (Peel session)
  • "Black Monk Theme" - 4:07 (Peel session - this is "Part 1")
  • "Hilary" - 2:23 (Peel session)
  • "Whizz Bang" - 3:01 (Peel session, not originally broadcast, later reworked as "Butterflies 4 Brains")


See also

External links

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